PolyU Students’ Design for The Future Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) joined hands with the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong in organising the “Hotel of the Future” competition in celebration of the hotel’s 50th anniversary.

A total of 39 year-two Environment and Interior Design students from PolyU participated in the seven-week programme from 25 March to 14 May this year, forming teams to design certain areas of the hotel, including “rooms and suites”, “lobby and reception”, “spa”, “food and beverage outlets” and “function rooms” with the theme of the next 50 years. Their designs incorporated the history of Hong Kong, the surrounding area and the design elements of this iconic hotel which ultimately presents “a sense of place” to the guests.

The shortlisted teams presented their designs to the management of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, the Head of Design of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and the faculty of PolyU School of Design (PolyU Design) on 14 May. Lee Kwok Kwong and Mak Chu Leung were selected as the winning team. With the concept of “Spreadism”, Kwong and Leung elegantly centred on the phenomenon of Chinese ink spreading out in water and on paper. They created a multi-functional zone in the double height area of the hotel with the use of spreading-out ink stones commonly seen in Chinese paintings. The stones are used to form an exhibition area or stage for jazz performances according to the purpose of space, and to allow guests to interact with not only each other but also the space.

“I was truly impressed and delighted to see the enthusiasm of not only the students but also the professors,” said Mr Jonas Schuermann, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Hong ¬¬-Kong. “What struck me the most was how the students captured the essence of the brand and were able to visually capture what luxury means to today’s affluent travellers.”

“The PolyU Design’s visionary proposals were supported with serious analysis and imagination. The students’ ideas possess ample intelligence with a refreshing sprinkle of innocence,” added Mr Byron Wong, Head of Design of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

The winning prize is a three-night “Travelling Scholarship” to another iconic hotel in the group, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, where the team will submit a travelling report. The eight finalist projects will be put on display from 1 July to 4 August at the Clipper Lounge and an award presentation will be held at the PolyU Design Annual Show opening ceremony in August.

Education at PolyU emphasises work-based learning experience and collaboration with the industry to help students better appreciate what they have learnt in class, so as to integrate theory with practice, to enhance all-round development and to make better career plans. The teaching team at PolyU Design who led the student project included Horace Pan, Kacey Wong, Manfred Yuen, Peter Hasdell and Sjoerd Hoekstra.

Judges and the Students at the final judging session

The Spreadism project created a multi-functional zone in the double height area with the use of spreading-out ink stones commonly seen in Chinese paintings.